Last night, Nielsen SoundScan announced that Taylor Swift sold 1.287 million copies of her new album, 1989 in its first week of release. This would be impressive in any year, but in a year like this, you could call it a miracle. So far in 2014, only one album has sold more than a million copies: the soundtrack to the movie Frozen, which actually came out in 2013. No other album released in 2014 has sold one million copies, all year long. So it's not just that Taylor Swift is doing big numbers. She's doing big numbers at a time when no one else is doing big numbers. Taylor Swift is more than just a pop music anomaly. Music writer and former Billboard Magazine editor Bill Werde says she is "defying retail gravity at this point."
Sales of physical albums have been in decline since 2001 and this year, digital downloads, which had been on the rise since 2004, finally followed. So far, sales at Apple's iTunes store have decreased by 13 percent over 2013. Listeners have moved toward streaming music services like Spotify, but so ...
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